To care for the young child is to also care for their parents. They are so inextricably woven together that we can't do one without the other.
And if we are to care for our parents we need to leave out the judgements and embrace them for who they are and how they do things.
Those things may be different from what we ourselves would do, or have done, but we have to stop that inner voice that critiques, or that urge to tell them what to do in place of their way.
Mother Teresa said,
“If you judge people you have no time to love them”.
Let’s put our time into showing love instead.
There is so much judgement for parents ‘out there’, beyond our settings - what they feed their child, where they sleep them, how much screen time, the clothes they choose, where they spend their days..honestly, the list is endless.
Don’t our parents need a breather from that?
We CAN be the oasis, the place to retreat to when they’ve had enough of the glances, the comments, that feeling that whichever way they do things is wrong.
We can be the place they feel free to try new ways, and voice their values, opinions and concerns. They can do those things without fear of ‘measuring up’ or getting it right, but just because, just as is. And they will not be judged. Love listens, love accepts. Love and judgment can’t go hand in hand.
We’re often really great in our profession, at showing love and care for children. When we open our hearts wider we can extend that to the parents too.
Just as we see children for all they ARE, we can ensure our parents feel seen and valued exactly as they are. Ours isn’t a place for perfection no matter what age you are.
If our parents feel supported and free to be themselves, each time they enter our settings their emotional fuel tank gets a refill. This sets them up to respond to their children with maximum warmth. They are immersed in a setting where children are seen and spoken to lovingly, and they can ‘catch’ this heart-centred way. Parents are influenced by our settings in these ways without us overtly telling them what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
Let’s leave it at that.